High performing businesses actively identify key performance metrics for employees who perform similar roles and then measure their progress against target values as a way of measuring their overall effectiveness. Key to this is helping the employee understand how their work supports the business and impacts or influences overall business performance.
Nothing new right?
For service organisations, managing the performance of field based employees, both as individuals and as a workforce, has long been a challenge. We believe that this is a challenge still faced by the majority of UK field service organisations. The remote nature of the workforce makes it inherently difficult to measure and indeed have any impact on performance. ‘Carrots’ in the form of incentives and monetary bonuses are still common place, as are the traditional performance management ‘Sticks’ which we don’t really like to talk about.
What if there was another way? What if we told you how the most forward thinking service businesses are tackling the challenge of managing the performance of their field based workforces…
Oh, go on then, we don’t like secrets anyway. We like to share.
So the first thing is understanding how to target the workers. Based on our 20+ years of service experience we’ve narrowed it down to 6 key performance areas (KPAs) which include: Effectiveness, Productivity, Consistency, Utilisation, Compliance and Efficiency.
Second, is setting the level at which each role should be measured.
We make that relatively easily by taking each of the 6 KPA’s and distilling them down into a number of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
So for example: Productivity (KPA) is broken down into either Productive Time versus Actual Shift Time OR Productive Time + Productive Productive Travel versus Actual Shift Time.
Setting the KPAs and their related KPIs varies per business and is something which we work on together with our customers.
Thirdly is measuring actual performance against target metrics. Essentially, the but which every Service Director wants to crack. And this is where we come in.
The answer is unsurprisingly found in some clever analytics.
Keep reading because whilst we’re probably all a bit bored of hearing about analytics, it becomes interesting when the outputs are simple to understand, easy to translate into actions and fast to make a business impact.
Introducing the Cognito iQ Worker Scorecard (part of the Cognito iQ Operational Performance Management solution)
Part of a suite of clever dashboards, the Worker Scorecard measures individual workers against our 6 KPAs. At the end of every shift, the worker is measured and scored across all 6 areas and the results are visually represented in, what we call, our Spider Chart.
This gives an at-a-glance view of an individual field worker’s performance. Not only does the Spider Chart make it easy to view, but each KPA is awarded a score at the end of every shift. Over time, a worker’s strengths and areas for improvement become evidently clear.
Taking things a step further, the ultimate measure is the Cognito iQ single Balanced Performance Score where all 6 KPA scores are combined into a single overall performance number. Viewable over a defined period of time or at an individual shift level, the Balanced Worker Score gives one trusted version of the truth.
The challenge of measuring the performance of a field worker is addressed.
And here’s some more really clever stuff….
Sharing the Worker Scorecard with the worker can lead to positive and healthy discussions. Using the Worker Scorecard as a new ‘carrot’ by being transparent and open with the scores makes for engaging conversations with individuals.
Training requirements become easy to identify.
Identifying your top performers and understanding why they’re performing so well, by analysing performance at a KPA level, helps service managers have a profound impact on the overall performance of the workforce - quite simply because they know which areas to work on and with whom.
Customers using the Cognito iQ Operational Performance Management solution have seen dramatic impacts on Employee Engagement in as little as 18 months.
In a world where typically ‘job hopping’ for marginal increases in pay is common place, some customers have seen attrition reduce by as much as 50%. Engineers feel more valued, they understand the impact their role has within the wider business and by tapping into most people’s inherent desire to do a good job; performance improves, engagement increases and the age old ‘out of sight – out of mind’ culture which has plagued field based workforces is finally put to bed.
“Cognito iQ OPM has given me the live data to make decisions on the trends today rather than tomorrow. I’m not making assumptions, I’m making qualified decisions and so are my managers” Ged Cranny, Head of Service, Konica Minolta.
To find out more about the Worker Scorecard and indeed the entire Cognito iQ Operational Performance Management solution, just give us a call.